I've never been a smoker except the odd cigarette from a friend while drunk (literally could count the number I've had on one hand).
My major reason for not smoking is health concerns and seeing my grandmother slowly dying from COPD over the years caused by smoking and a history of fatal and life threatening lung problems among my immediate family (not even caused by smoking because they didn't smoke but would be made much worse if they smoked) but yeah my dad died when I was 12 from a rare lung disease and my brother has asthma that flares up randomly every now and then and has put him in hospital a couple times.
Anyway.. I am suffering from severe anxiety and depression (and possibly Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.. I am waiting for an assessment but have been told by a CPN (who wasn't qualified enough to diagnose me she said) that it sounds like PTSD.. I was raped a year ago and am coping horribly atm), am waiting for help on the NHS but it's a long slow process..
Anyway in desperation (and impulsiveness) the other day I decided I'd buy an electronic cigarette. It's just nicotine and cigarette flavoured water vapour- no tar, no carcinogens, no tobacco, no staining of teeth, no hot smoke etc..
Anyway it seems to be helping! I also noticed it completely takes away my appetite..
Anyone got any thoughts on these either for weight loss or just in general? Again it's not the nicotine that causes health problems from smoking and they are 99% safer than a regular cigarette and only a tiny fraction of the price although nicotine is what is addictive (but then so are several anti-anxiety medications/alcohol etc and I'm a bit desperate atm for anything to help (I'm on anti-anxiety medication (have already checked, no interaction with nicotine) but it's not helping although the same medication has helped in the past so I'm just keeping taking it and hoping it does again).
So yeah anyone else used these before?
Last edited by PaintedButterfly : 07-07-2012 at 07:22 AM.
Yikes, you do have a lot on your plate! I can certainly see why you're casting about for relief.
I'd be careful with the electronic cigarette--nicotine is REALLY addictive and it would be terrible for you to add that to your list of things that need fixing. The other problem is that the sedative effect of nicotine wears off really quickly as your body becomes accustomed to it. You won't be feeling that relaxation benefit after a couple of days--you'll just be feeling relief from the satiation of the addiction (if you know what i mean. When your body is addicted to nicotine, you are basically in withdrawal all the time except when you are smoking. When you first start smoking, the nicotine has that nice sedative effect that you're experiencing, but very quickly the payoff stops being the sedative and starts being relief from the withdrawal. When that happens, you need to STOP.)
My perspective: I was a heavy smoker for many years. Quit 4 1/2 years ago; major health/pain/stress issues this year and I stupidly smoked a cigarette. The nicotine addiction guy was right there in my head, fully formed and talking LOUD! I pretty much instantly became re-addicted. I quit a few times for a couple of days, but kept going back to it. I just quit again last week--this time is the one that is going to stick!!! I got one of those e-cigarettes to help wean myself off the nicotine. Those things are great! I've stopped using mine because I want to fully get off the nicotine, but it was helpful for a couple of days. Now I'm getting acupuncture instead and it is really helping.
You need some relief from your anxiety though: Exercise? Acupuncture? Marijuana? Different meds?
__________________ "Losing weight is easy; I've done it dozens of times."
I'm so sorry that you are going through all of this! I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder and Depression and I know how intense the moments of panic, anxiety, and despair can get. I really feel for you and I send you many good thoughts and prayers.
I would really warn you not to smoke the electronic cigarettes. I am also a non-smoker and have seen family members die very painful deaths as a result of their smoking. My boyfriend is currently smoking electronic cigarettes as he is trying to quit. The nicotine (although you can change the amount of nicotine in the cigarette) still has him hooked and I don't see him stopping w/ the electronic cigs anytime soon.
I know how daunting it is to face severe anxiety without a means or a mechanism to cope. I agree with DietVet in that you do not need to add to your problems by becoming addicted to nicotine. Will it make you lose weight or curb your appetite? Probably for a little while. I have some friends who started smoking to curb their appetite and it eventually stopped working. I really would urge you not to use electronic cigarettes either as a way to cope with anxiety or lose weight. Have you tried deep breathing, yoga, or meditation? There are also herbal supplements you can get at a local health good store that help to relieve anxiety symptoms naturally.
I know that there is no easy fix to severe anxiety but there is hope. I hope that you do not turn to electronic cigarettes without looking into other options first. Good luck and prayers for you!
Aw thank you guys for the responses and being so understanding.
I'm gutted this calm feeling I'm getting from these "cigarettes" is going to wear off... cos it is really helping atm (only been using them 3 days though).
I didn't mind the fact it was addictive so long as it worked and wasn't harming me.. but if you just end up being addicted and it not actually helping anymore that's no good at all And yeah I don't want just another problem to have to tackle.
I am really drawing a blank on other coping mechanisms.. I have suffered from anxiety and depression for years and had developed many coping mechanisms and been through various therapy etc and really sorted myself out, had myself on a good degree course and was basically on set with life.. and then I went to university and loads of awful things happened while I was there (I was raped, stalked, had to cope with a flatmate who tried to kill herself, was racially abused, sexually discriminated against in my own department and a bunch of other stuff) and coped horribly and got little to no useful help from the university so eventually left.
I tried so hard to get myself back together- I took up running, I overhauled the way I ate, I got immersed in my parents farm, I reapplied to university to a different course that will be far better for me and got accepted etc...
But all the problems didn't go away they just sort of went into hiding and my mum and step father's marriage spectacularly broke down in a violent manner and we had to suddenly move house. At the same time I found out a friend of mine was violently raped and going through the court system and I got a lot of pressure from my other friends to try and help her because they were at uni and I wasn't.. and well everything came flooding back and suddenly I was getting flashbacks and nightmares and my anxiety and depression went completely through the roof and took over my life. All my confidence has gone, my self belief and my ability to really function...
I can't run anymore because I'm too self concious/afraid... I get random flashbacks that totally take over my life
I'm really stuck. I really don't know what I can do to help myself. I can't concentrate on anything and I am so incredibly depressed.
I'm on citalopram which helped for a bit while I was at university but I quit taking which was a massive mistake.. I've been on it about 6 weeks now but I just feel worse.. I've been contemplating going back to my GP but after I told her about the rape/flashbacks she thinks it's more important to get my therapy than medication... but I don't know how I'm supposed to cope in the meanwhile while I'm waiting cos I'm really struggling.
I'm waiting for an assessment on the NHS. I went for one at their depression and anxiety service but they told me my "issues are too complex" and due to "timing issues" (me going to university in September) they can't help me and have referred me to another service I'm waiting for an assessment with (they should phone me and offer me an appointment some time this week in theory).
As for other suggestions- I wouldn't want to try marijuana tbh. Despite it being illegal/health concerns I worry about what effect it'd have on me given my mental health history.
Accupuncture I don't think I'd cope with- too much like massage and I'm not great with people touching me like that atm.
Sorry I hope this wasn't just like me coming up with excuses and dismissing everything. I really do appreciate the support and suggestions I just am really stuck atm
This was probably very tl:dr I realise so thank you anyone who read this far!
Last edited by PaintedButterfly : 07-08-2012 at 11:02 AM.
Wow, I just have to say I feel like I am reading something that I wrote! It is amazing how similar our situations are... like, eerily similar. And here I was thinking I was the only one... Sorry, I'm not trying to compare my life to yours but I have to say I have been through really similar situations in the past couple years and have been experiencing the same kind of problems as a result.
I'm really happy for you that you are taking steps in the right direction as far as your mental health goes. I know how ridiculously challenging even the simplest of tasks can be, and taking charge of your health is hard even for people who are not suffering with anxiety/depression. I'm not sure where you are located, but here in the states it is really difficult (at least where I live) to even see a mental health professional or enter into any type of treatment program. The places I have called to set up an appointment are always either not accepting patients or my insurance. So frustrating, especially when you are on the edge to begin with! In the meantime I would suggest for you to try some herbal supplements, do as much exercise as you can (you can do it in your home if you are not comfortable with doing it outside yet), and looking up meditation techniques on Youtube. I don't know if you are suffering with panic attacks, but when I have a flashback I immediately start hyperventilating. In this case, my therapist has taught me to breathe from my diaphragm and focus on the breathing as much as possible until the attack subsides. Although it hasn't cured me of course, it has been pretty helpful.
It is really important that you seek as much help as you need. Are there free health clinics at your university? Can you call around and try to find other treatment centers? Try to be as proactive as possible and make sure that they get in touch with you. You should not have to suffer on your own, and therapy may really prove to be helpful for you in coping with your anxiety/depression.
There really is no easy fix and I have found that out the hard way. I try to take one day at a time and consistently remind myself that everything will be ok- maybe not today, but it will be. Don't be mad at yourself for feeling anxious and depressed, it's a normal reaction to the trauma that you went through! I really hope that you can get into some kind of treatment program that works for you, and start on the path to healing.
You really don't sound like you're making excuses: given how much you have going on, I'm really impressed by how well you're trying to look after yourself!
Other than trying things like meditation, yoga, herbs, etc, it sounds as though your best bet is to be persistent with the NIH. I live in the US, so I don't know how the whole thing works but it sounds as though you are going to have to be a bit pushy with your health care providers until someone offers you some actual help. Therapy is good and great--you should have that--but it would be nice for your GP to prescribe you something that can help you deal with your daily depression and anxiety. Perhaps make another appointment and this time be really firm? (You could write yourself a list of all the things you need and the reasons you need them--then when shed tries to blow you off, you can consult your list and tell her what you need. Writing things down helps if you tend to blank out in stressful situations.)
<hugs> and good luck!
__________________ "Losing weight is easy; I've done it dozens of times."
Nicotine isn't entirely harmless on it's own, so you do need to be aware of that, and be willing to take the risks. You may consider the non-nicotine "flavors" to see if it's the nicotine providing most of the calm, or whether it's the ritual of smoking or the aroma/flavor that you find calming. If the non-nicotine cartridges work just as well, and you don't need the nicotine - bonus.
My hubby has used the electronic cigarettes, both as a smoking substitute and to quit smoking (he'd mix the nicotine and non-nicotine flavors to dilute the nicotine).
He ended up giving them up, because they ended up being as expensive, if not more so than regular cigarettes. He tried several models and they all broke down long before they "paid for themselves" as the ads promised.
He decided that until the tech improves, they weren't worth it (for the health advantage I disagree), so now he struggles with smoking and quitting as he has for years (he'll go a long time withouth smoking, and then will pick it up again).
My Etsy shop (currently closed for the summer)
I have dieted for years, lost weight and put it back on, but recently I decided to stop smoking with my hubby. Even though I only smoked about 2 a day it's better all round.
Anyway I bought us a pack with 2 ecigs in.
I've been using mine for 2 weeks and have lost 4 lbs. I find I'm nowhere near as hungry and as soon as I get 'that' feeling to snack I have the ecig and the craving goes away.
Until we have some definitive research that these things are safe, I would avoid them altogether, especially if you're not already hooked on smoking. I am very concerned about what we could find out about these things in the future. I did read an article a while back that said they are finding many of the same harmful chemicals in the second-hand smoke that is found in the second- hand smoke of regular cigarets. I'm not sure where I read that, but it makes me worry that people perceive these things to be safe when they could be very dangerous.
Goal weight met on 4/13/13!
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